The Voice 17 Finale airs Monday (Dec 16) and Tuesday (Dec 17) on NBC at 8 PM ET/PT. The Top 4 will sing for your votes in front of coaches Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton for a shot at the crown.
Where do the singers stand ahead of Monday’s performance final? I take a stab at ranking them below.
A case could be made for each of these singers taking it all.
While one could argue that Jake Hoot and Ricky Duran have been predictable in terms of song choice over the course of the live rounds, both are strong confident performers in their respective genres (country, rock/r&B). Additionally, each stripped it down for the semi-finals, delivering big emotional moments that nabbed them the No. 1 and 2 spot on iTunes. (Jake’s Desperado and Ricky’s Let it Be, respectively).
Katie Kadan has flourished under John Legend’s tutelage. He helped her finesse her big voice and show a vulnerable side. While I had Katie pegged as merely a blues belter initially, a more nuanced, versatile artist has emerged over the weeks.
Rose Short is the Top 4 artist that excites me the most. Her intelligent phrasing and impressive range has never disappointed, even on the most overdone song choices. Unlike many The Voice singers, she hasn’t been kicking around the industry for years. Yet, she presents as a seasoned, experienced singer.
How would you rate the Top 4? Who do you think will win it all?
4. Rose Short – Team Gwen Stefani – An artist who sang for the instant save has never won the show. Britton Buchanan was season 14 runner-up despite needing the save. But typically it’s a big hurdle to overcome. Considering how strong her competition is, I think Rose will finish the competition in 4th place.
3. Katie Kadan – Team John Legend – After vacillating back and forth I decided to rank Katie fourth. She has been a powerful presence on the show all season. But Ricky’s powerful and vulnerable performance of “Let it Be” last week pushes him ahead of Katie. John promised that Katie would sing a ballad if she made the finale. If she performs a show stopper, the singer could wind up in second place.
2. Ricky Duran – Team Blake Shelton – Ricky advanced week after week thanks to his well-honed blues interpretations and skillful guitar playing. However his easy professional style lacked urgency. His performances were enjoyable, but didn’t persuade me to hit replay. That is, until his emotional and deeply personal take on “Let it Be” last week. If Ricky can build on the momentum he’s created, with electrifying performances next week, he could take the second spot.
1. Jake Hoot – Team Kelly Clarkson – Barring some sort of musical catastrophe, Jake is going to win it all. His rich, radio ready tone and ability to tell a tender, emotional country story through song, has propelled him to the top of the iTunes streaming and download charts. Plus he’s a loving dad with a super cute kid! It’s a perfect storm of singing show success. If Jake does win he’ll be the first single chair turn to win the show.*
*Season 13 winner Chris Blue from Team Alicia Keys was technically a 1 chair turn, but by the time he auditioned, three of the coaches’ teams were full.
Here’s Your The Voice Top 4